MA in Contemporary Communication

Communication Arts Department

Degrees offered



Main Campus


The Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication is an interdisciplinary program for students seeking graduate education in new communication approaches. The Program of Study allows students options to explore their interests and goals ranging from development of communication skills in new and social media to strategic communication.

Through their coursework, students learn to bring critical analysis, creative insights, technological competence, and new media skills to their endeavors in communication. The curriculum prepares students for careers as effective, strategically-oriented communications professionals by providing them with a set of essential communication skills enhanced by knowledge of new communication technologies.

The M.A. in Contemporary Communication produces graduates who can write clear, purposeful, audience-oriented communications and apply creative approaches to communications planning and problem-solving. Job opportunities for students who complete the program include positions in public relations, organizational communication, website and social media development—some of the most rapidly-growing segments of the professional communication field.

In addition to the face-to-face course offerings at Notre Dame’s main campus, the Contemporary Communication program has a fully online option for students interested in exploring this mode of course delivery. The online program provides learners with flexible degree completion options that allow them to further their educations while continuing to pursue their careers and lives. Students may complete the degree totally through face-to-face courses, totally through online courses or through a combination of both. Consultation with an advisor will help the student determine which mode is best.

Program Objectives

  1. Integrate computer skills and creativity in media through visual images and written communication.
  2. Write clear, purposeful, audience-oriented communications across a variety of media.
  3. Apply creative approaches to communications planning and problem-solving.
  4. Coordinate the production of visually effective and informative print, graphic and electronic communications.
  5. Exhibit a solid grounding in communication theories.
  6. Employ research techniques, applications and organizational methods and skills in new and emerging technologies.
  7. Demonstrate a comprehension of the language and complexities of communication modes: visual, written and oral.
  8. Develop skills to pursue professional careers in new opportunities for communication or creative expression.

Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) Cumulative Grade Point Average to remain in Academic Good Standing. Students whose Cumulative Grade Point Average falls below 3.0 will be placed on Academic Probation. More than 2 grades of C or C+ will result in Academic Dismissal from the program.

Students may enroll in up to 6 hours of a different University Program of Study (graduate level) with the permission of their Academic Advisor and the Program Director of the additional Program of Study.

Curriculum (36 Credits)

  • Required Courses (6 Credits)
  • Discipline Requirements (30 Credits)
Required Courses 

IDS-510 Approaches to Contemporary Communication (3)
CST-515 Technology in Contemporary Communication (3)

In addition to the required courses, students complete 30 credits, including at least 18 credits in any combination of CST and COM courses. The remaining credits may be taken in any combination of ENG, PHL, ART, COM, CST, and IDS from the list below.


ART-509 Graduate Photography Workshop (3)
ART-520 Visual Culture (3)

Communication Arts

COM-505 Business Communication (3)
COM-507 Film Themes (3)
COM-509 Media Criticism and Theory (3)
COM-511 Communication Issues (3)
COM-515 Cross-Cultural Communication (3)
COM-517 Communication and Gender (3)
COM-520 Media Technology Management (3)
COM-530 Independent Study (3)
COM-556 Research Methods for Professionals (3)
COM-565 Campaign Design and Execution(3)
COM-610 Social Media for Professionals (3)
COM-620 Public Relations Management (3)

Computer Studies 

CST-511 Topics in Information Systems (3)
CST-530 Fundamentals of Knowledge Management (3)
CST-531 Data Design and Management (3)
CST-534 Data Driven Business Decisions (3)
CST-580 Managing Info in Web-Based World (3)
CST-593 Web Development (3)
CST-595 Multimedia Applications (3)


ENG-503 Graduate Writing (3)
ENG-512 Topics in Contemporary Interpretation (3)


PHL-511 Topics in Philosophy (3)
PHL-521 Ethical Issues in Leadership (3)


IDS-512 Writing Workshop (3)
IDS-600 Colloquium in Contemporary Communication (6)